- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 26, 2003


Terror suspect gets lenient sentence

DUSSELDORF — A Jordanian convicted of helping plot terror attacks against Jewish targets in Germany received a lenient four-year prison sentence yesterday after providing insights into his radical Islamist group and its links to al Qaeda.

Shadi Abdellah, 27, was one of nine persons suspected of belonging to terror group Al Tawhid and arrested in Germany last year on suspicion of plotting imminent attacks. He is of Palestinian origin and had been a bodyguard for Osama bin Laden.

The Dusseldorf state court said the sentence — less than half the 10-year maximum — was a reward for Abdellah for his testimony on the Al Tawhid cell, its planned targets and the months he spent as a “confidant” among bin Laden and other top al Qaeda members in Afghanistan.


Vote to decide fate of peace accord

BELFAST — Northern Ireland voters went to the polls yesterday in long-delayed elections that hold the key to the survival of the province’s 1998 peace pact and were set to hand gains to hard-line Protestant and Catholic parties.

It is the second election to the power-sharing assembly set up under the U.S.-brokered 1998 Good Friday Agreement, which aimed to end three decades of political and sectarian violence.

Britain resumed direct rule of the province in October 2002 when a fragile Protestant-Catholic coalition collapsed, and the assembly remains suspended.


Attack feared on U.S. targets

BUENOS AIRES — Argentina said yesterday that foreign intelligence services had warned of a threat of attacks on U.S., British or Spanish interests in the South American nation.

Defense Minister Jose Pampuro said the armed forces had been put on alert. He added that Argentina had received a similar warning about four or five months ago.


Troops hunt top al Qaeda figure

SAN’A — Yemeni security forces are pursuing a second top al Qaeda figure after capturing the suspected mastermind of the bombings of the U.S. destroyer USS Cole and a French oil tanker, government officials said yesterday.

Abu Ali al-Kandahari, one of two top al Qaeda leaders in Yemen, is believed to be hiding in the northern provinces of Marib and Jawf.

Mohammed Hamdi al-Ahdal, the suspected mastermind of the Cole attack that killed 17 American sailors in 2000, was arrested Tuesday.


Iraqi baby undergoes heart surgery

HOLON — Israeli doctors operated on an Iraqi baby girl for 10 hours yesterday, trying to correct a potentially fatal heart defect.

Bayan Jassem was born a little more than a week ago near the northern city of Kirkuk with the arteries to her heart reversed. An American military doctor matched her parents with the Israeli humanitarian organization Save a Child’s Heart.


War-crimes suspectrefuses to plead

THE HAGUE — Ex-rebel Croatian Serb leader Milan Babic made a mystery-shrouded surprise debut at The Hague tribunal yesterday but declined to plead to war-crimes charges in an “ethnic cleansing” campaign of the 1990s.

Mr. Babic was indicted earlier this month but his whereabouts had been unknown until yesterday. The tribunal unexpectedly announced his initial appearance just hours before the hearing, and would give no details on how he came to be in The Hague.

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